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Archive for May, 2010

masterpieces…

I hadn’t been in a strip club in 17 years – the environment didn’t bother me like it did the other women, but I was looking at the ladies with a different view than when I had worked as one of them

I’ve had a long time to think about why I started stripping – why I needed to…

I was 28 yrs old, a US Marine, and I didn’t absolutely need the money — what I needed was the degradation – the confirmation and familiarity of my belief that yes, this is what I’m good for, this is what I am — I needed it to kill the hope of being anything more

most people won’t understand that – and I’m not sure I can explain it

when you are taught – by your parents, your family – that your only worth is in your body, that love comes only at the price of sacrificing that body – and when that is confirmed by the failure of the system, by the other significant adults in your life, it becomes your belief – you own it

I had dared to hope I could be something more than that – the marines had given me a sense of worth apart from that, and my engagement gave me hope – that I would finally be worthy, be normal, be a respectable wife and not a whore — and when he left me a month before the wedding, the pain of that hope was unbearable and I needed to kill it

it was much less painful to just accept the old belief than to face the pain of that hope not coming true

when I looked at the faces of the ladies that night, I wondered who had taught them that this was the life they deserved – I wondered what had happened to them to make them believe that their only worth was in their bodies – that sacrificing their bodies was the price of love

when I looked at them all, I saw masterpieces created by god — and I realized I no longer believe the lie – for them, or myself

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last night I went on the outreach and it was good – we went into three strip clubs and gave roses and brownies to all the ladies (the flowers have a church contact card attached to them) and at a fourth club we went into the dressing room only to distribute them, because they don’t allow us to go into the actual club – but we left enough roses with the house mom for the ladies who were on the floor

the ladies were all very happy to see us and get the flowers – it’s all done very quickly, we’re in and out, because it’s a very delicate balance with the club owners letting us do this, and we don’t want to interfere and have them stop allowing the ministry 

after the clubs, we drove the streets, stopping whenever we saw ladies or transvestites – we gave them bags with personal hygiene items and prayed with them if they allowed us to (the bags have cards inviting them to the dream center) – there was also one regular stop at an abandoned car dealership where the pimp came out and we gave him bags for his girls and talked with him for a while

only the leader knew about my past, and it was a really weird night for me –  being with people of a world I never got to have, and reaching out to a world that, except for his grace, I should still be living in

there were a few others who were on the outreach for their first time, and who had never been in a strip club or on the streets before, and it was kind of strange to be in the van with them after, listening to their reactions – I kept trying to figure out why they were doing it since they don’t have the connection to that world that I have – I’m not sure I understand their motives, but I give them the benefit of the doubt, knowing my tendency to mistrust christians I don’t know

as for my own heart, I’m still trying to sort through how I felt being out there, so that’s for another post…

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